SORRY to report this.
After considerable local participation and the clearest possible evidence that the present student building is the source of a great deal of noise and nuisance, the Planning Inspector favoured the Developer over local residents and gave permsision for the demolition of the Magnet building (which is totally undistinguished but modest) and the constuction of a building of inferior quality and great ugliness – containing 268 student rooms.
The decision is at:
Among other pearls of ignorance : “….as the site is at the periphery of the residential neighbourhood, I do not find the proposal would result in an undesirable over-intensification of Purpose Built Student Accommodation or harm the overal social balance of the wider community…”
“at the periphery of the residential neighbourhood?!” In fact it is directly between two blocks of flats containing many families, it looms over Azania Mews, a family Housing Association development and has numerous residential streets to the south and east. All of those residents already suffer from noise and nuisance.
This evidence is dismissed with these words: “Despite assertions regarding noise and disturbance made in written representations and orally at the Inquiry, these appear to be based on isolated incidents or preconceived assumptions that students engage in unsociable activities.” This flies in the face of clear widespread evidence of repeated nuisance by people who explicitly say they are not anti-student.
The decision records: “but the only evidence supplied in support of the Council’s case in this regard came from the Minutes of Inkerman Residents Association which estimated that only about half of pedestrian night-time noise is associated with students compared with other people.”
This is totally inaccurate and ignores considerable additional evidence.
(leaving aside the fact the Inspector could not even be bothered to get the name of the Association right. )
He goes on to say that people should double glaze their windows if they don’t like the noise!
The impression we got during the hearing was that he was totally inclined to the developers and utterly unsympathetic and dismissive of local people.
How right we were.
Not looking good for the Pizza Express Site.
[BUT….. added in January – that was pessimistic – we won the Pizza Express one! See othe story. ]